September 4th, 2008
09:05 PM ET
12 years ago

‘Smoking’ comedian alarms Secret Service

Eugene Mirman and friends visit the CNN Grill.

Eugene Mirman and friends visit the CNN Grill.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Comedian Eugene Mirman would have arrived at the “CNN Grill” earlier had he not been detained by the U.S. Secret Service for his pants – apparently puffs of smoke were pouring out of one of his pockets.

“I was wearing a helmet and some goggles, and then I had some instant food that when you pulled the cord, the food heated up. What I didn’t know about the food I bought, which is my fault, is that it starts smoking,” he explained.

Mirman is at the Republican convention producing a series of funny, original videos for a Web site. If you’re trying to place the face: think the landlord in HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords.”

The comedian had rave reviews for the Secret Service, however, who he described as “extremely polite.”

The helmet and goggles are still a mystery.

September 4th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
12 years ago

'Real World' star gives her reality-check on Palin

Former reality star Rachel Campos-Duffy at the CNN Grill during the Republican National Convention.

Former reality star Rachel Campos-Duffy at the CNN Grill during the Republican National Convention.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – “Now we have a race,” Rachel Campos-Duffy said of McCain’s “excellent choice” for vice president, Sarah Palin.

The ‘Real World’ reality star and Republican activist was dining at the CNN Grill Wednesday evening with her three-month old newborn in tow. Campos-Duffy, like Palin, is a mother of five.

“I think before, maybe we could’ve won, but I think that now we have a real, really good shot at it. I really do,” Campos-Duffy said of Palin on the ticket.

“I don’t really have a lot in common with Hillary Clinton. I have a heck of a lot more in common with this woman, and I think that most people I know, Democrat or Republican, would say the same thing.”

The conservative blogger, a frequent contributor to a parenting site, says 17-year-old Bristol Palin’s decision to have her baby only puts a “stamp on [the family’s] pro-life credentials.”

“They say that pro-choice is sort of the women’s position, but I think that women’s positions on choice are really softening,” Campos-Duffy said. “When [women] have had 40 ultrasounds, had babies, and seen spina bifida operations done in utero, I think there’s a lot more softening about women’s decisions.”

Duffy is married to fellow “Real World” alum, Sean Duffy, now a Republican delegate from Wisconsin. Oh, if you are wondering, Rachel starred in Season Three, "Real World San Francisco."

September 3rd, 2008
10:40 PM ET
12 years ago

T. Boone Pickens on what Palin needs to do tonight

Oilman T. Boone Pickens spoke to CNN.

Oilman T. Boone Pickens spoke to CNN.

ST PAUL (CNN) –- John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin needs to “portray herself as a leader” Wednesday night, if she does that, “she is going to be very popular,” Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens said in a CNN interview inside the Xcel Energy Center at the Republican National Convention.

Pickens – fresh off a visit to the Democratic National Convention – was in St. Paul on Wednesday to push what he modestly calls the Pickens Plan, a scheme to wean the United States off imported oil and instead rely more on renewable energy resources.

“I have a story to tell. My story is the Pickens Plan and that is the plan for energy for America,” he said of his Minnesota visit.

Pickens is particularly interested in hearing what Senator McCain has to say about energy in his address Thursday night.

In 2004, Pickens was among the highest-profile supporters of Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth, giving $1 million to the group that savaged Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's war record.

He contributed $2.5 million the same year to the Progress for America voter fund, a group closely linked to President Bush and the Republican National Committee, and tens of thousands of dollars to individual Republican candidates for Congress, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

But Pickens says he isn’t taking sides this election and doesn’t haven’t an opinion about which presidential candidate would do a better job of decreasing American dependence on foreign oil.

“I am totally non-partisan in this race,” he said, adding that “both parties are going to have to work like hell” if they want to take the White House in November.